On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced a calamity of apocalyptic proportions. The fourth largest earthquake since 1900 shook the country to its core; it released over 4,000 times the energy of the strongest nuclear test in history, sent thirty-foot tsunamis inland, wiping out entire towns, and - horrifyingly - prompted meltdowns at three of the country's nuclear reactors. It also threatened to push the nation into a steep long-term economic decline. Created for the public television series NOVA, this documentary program explores the astonishing ramifications of the quake and reflects on its short and long-term consequences. It also speculates about the possibility of similar events befalling the west coast of the United States - where residents and communities are much less prepared to handle such an event than Japan was. With this in mind, the film asks the critical question of what can and should be done in advance (in terms of basic preparedness) , lest such a disaster strike the California coast.